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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  March 31, 2011 12:00am-12:30am PDT

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tavis: greeng los angeles, i'm tavis smiley. first up a conversation with conman and former presidential candidate ron paul. texas republican is a member of the house foreign affairs committee and co-sponsor of new legislation aimed tonight at defunding u.s. military action in libya. also tonight, actor jeffrey tambor is here. former larry sander star is out this spring with three different film projects, including "win-win" and upcoming feature "meeting spencer." we're glad you joined us congressman ron paul and actor jeffrey tambor, coming up right now. >> all i know is his name is james and he needs extra help with his reading. >> i'm james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you -- >> you help us all live better.
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>> nationwide insurance supports "tavis smiley." with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment one nation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] >> for generations the united states of america has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world's many
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challenges. but when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. that's what happened in libya over the course of these last six weeks. tavis: president obama of course monday night addressing the nation on u.s. m.s.g. action in libya. for more tonight i'm joined by congressman ron paul, the texas republican is a member of the house foreign affairs committee. he joins us tonight from the capital. congressman g. to have you back on this program. thank you for your time, sir. >> thank you, thank you. >> the president said we had to act in libya. is he right? >> i think he's wrong. what are our interests and what are our values? our values are defending the constitution. our interests are not served by starting wars. this is a preventive war. this is going and in saying we're going to prevent something from happening as if he knows exactly what would happen and even if we do know is actually where did the authority come from. i am projected to the other wars
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we have been pursuing but this one might be a little worse because there wasn't even an attempt to inform the congress and say this is what we're going to do. so i think we're taking one more step further with the congress giving up its responsibilities and prerogatives and biving them over to the executive branch, and i don't like the trend. tavis: i hear your point but didn't obama just take a page out of bush's playbook and didn't bush take a page oust reagan's playstpwhook this isn't the first time a president has done this. >> yes, i think bush did, senior and junior did go to the congress, even though i want satisfied with that and voted strong glins it, not only because i thought the war was unwise. i thought if you go to war, you're supposed to declare war and have a precise goal and precise victory. yes, it's a continuation. but this time some people would argue it's slightly worse because he hasn't even made an attempt to get some type of token approval and, of course, i'm no fan of the united
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nations. i don't think we should give up our responsibilities and our sovereignty to an international body to tell us when we should send young people off to war. and then on top of all of this, some people actually bring up the subject of the cost of these things, and industries, very costly and the whole thing is we don't have room to spend hundreds of billions of dollars overseas as we have been while denying so many needs here at home. >> obviously, you opposed the president on going into libya but since we've been there for those nine, ten days now has anything been accomplished to your liking at all? >> no, i can't think of anything. the more i see, the worse it seems to be. it's likely that there's al qaeda in the group who are rebelling and once again, you know we're all over the place. we were buddies with and allies with osama bin laden when we were fighting in afghanistan in the '80's, so we may well, you
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know, be serving the interest of the al qaeda. and actually the state department hasn't denied this and said you have to, you know, make these type of partnerships when you're fighting an enemy. who's going to make my choice on who's the worse person in the world? i think it's a bad mood, it's bad for our national security and bad for our finances and bad for our constitution. >> somebody said years ago the first casualty in war is the truth, very first casualty is the truth. i raise that because i was watching our friend brian williams on nbc news. brian had an exclusive conversation with the president last night. he sits with the president last night for this conversation and the president suggests in that interview as did he in his speech that we've got muammar qaddafi on his heels. the president said we've got him on his heels. after brian finishes the interview, he goes to their fornte correspond richard engel. engle is on the ground in libya and these guys are running
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faster than jackie joyner-kersee to get away from qaddafi. the president said he's on his heels. but the story on the ground is the rebels are on the run whofment do you believe about these stories? >> i don't generally believe the government. that's a lot of wishful thinking. i don't know if it's outright lying but it's wishful thinking and deception. it is true, our government, the previous administrations did it as well and it's been going on for many, many years. you go all the way back to vietnam. lies were told to get us involved in these wars. so it is -- american people should be much more reluctant. congress members ought to be more reluctant to accept this at face value, that, you know, it's the end of the world if we don't go in. saddam hussein had nuclear weapons and al qaeda was in there and all of this fearmongering. he was about to attack us. and they were all -- it was not
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true. so we should be much more cautious about going to war. mine, you would think we'd learn our lesson. >> with all due respect to the president, i can imagine that republicans, particularly you have folks like john mccain and others who are now calling for the president to help arm he's rebels. i will come back to that in a second. the point here is if the president did not do anything in libya when our value that's we so cherish here are being stomped on 0 in libya, if he didn't do anything, wouldn't republicans be saying the president sat on his hands and didn't go defend people, when they were being annihilated by their government? >> yes, i'm frayed you're right and there's still a bunch doing that. why didn't he do more sooner? but we have to question our values. our values should be going to war in a proper manner for a moral reason under the constitution. don't know how you spread our values and for moral reasons to go and violate all of the principles that were embedded in our american system.
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yes, you're absolutely right. there are a bunch. i think we're going to have more republicans with us now in opposition to this. one, because things are getting out of hand but also for partisan reasons. this was happening in bosnia. a lot of republicans opposed clinton when he was going into bosnia but immediately when bush did it, they were all for it. i respect the people who are consistent and we have a group, both republicans and democrats, more democrats than republicans, who take prains pill stand, progressive democrats and some of the libertarians, conservative republicans are opposed to this type of foreign policy on principals. tavis: i hear your point now. obviously you're a republican and have you been courageous on this war question for a while now condemning these kinds of invasions, these kind of wars. since you mentioned progressive democrats, there are a number of stories out from the place now and i for one am concerned about this myself that the progressives have not been as vocal about this as they were about bush going into iraq.
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so is the progressive left hypocritical on this issue now? >> there were some i was just shocked they weren't with us. they had been so strong ally when's -- allies when we were opposing the iraq war and faded. it sorts people out and find out who people are on principle. the dennis kucinich group, i mean they're still anti-war and very consistent anti-war but then there are others that actually i was pretty disappointed. i just assumed they would be with us then have not been. tavis: i know have you to run to a vote. three quick questions right quick. number one, is there going to be a budget shutdown over this budget destpwhate >> well, have i been predicting at there won't be but i'm not betting any money on it. it's a pretty messy business. but don't think it's in anybody's interest, political interest, to allow that to happen than it would be zwroust become blame game. so my guess is something will
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become of it but i guess we have to wait and see. i'm not on the inside of those decisions. all i know is i oppose spending because i feared big spending and deficits for a long, long time and argued the case we would get into a financial crisis if we didn't get our house in order. so i only can speak for myself but i will not support any spending bills that continue this process. tavis: my final two questions, number one, are you going to run for the white house again? and if your answer is i don't know yet, can you tell me what your process is going to be for making that decision? >> well, i really don't know yet. i'm being very honest about it. it's a tough decision and you know what it takes to be on the road and very things it entails. one of the things i have said in public and one of my intense interests has been the destruction of our economy and breakdown. people say, well, it's tough consulting back and balancing the budget because people getting cut are furious. we're seeing our demonstration.
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but if you destroy the value of the money, everybody gets cut back so the checks really bounce. the social security recipients have no purchasing power. so if there's clear evidence that that is a big issue and have i something to offer and the people are ready to listen to that, i may well do it. tavis: finally your son, who is now a senator from kentucky, has said he's considering it or suggested he's considering it only if his father ron paul does not run. can you tell me anything about that? >> not too much because i really haven't talked to him about that. i think he's been prodded with some questions and he came up with his answers. but we haven't gotten to that stage of talking about it. tavis: congressman paul, thank you very much for coming on. know you're rushing to a vote. >> thank you. tavis: take care. up next -- actor jeffrey tambor. stay with us. if you visit your local movie
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theater some time this spring, there's a pretty good chance you're going to see jeffrey tambor in addition to his roles in the new films "win-win" and "paul." sex-time emmy winning nominee stars in the upcoming movie "spencer." this opens november 8 with more cities to follow. >> more cities to follow. tavis: here now a scene from "meeting spencer." >> listening to you tonight and then seeing the crowd's reaction to spencer before me i decided to give spencer the leading role in the slightly revised malcolm andrews musical. congratulations, spencer, your broadway star is about to shine. please, please, don't say anything. >> this just keeps getting worse. >> i really don't want to sound ungrateful -- >> then don't. >> but i haven't heard the play. >> you will when i rewrite it. >> this is crazy. >> no, it's show business. i'm not sure i'm a good enough
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actor. >> i am a great director. [laughter] >> that was funny. in all three movies, you see me in three different weights. heavy in "paul" and lighter in -- tavis: was that deliberate? >> i have four kids, so there it is. it's weight control. tavis: when you walked up, i was going to say jeffrey lost weight. >> i look good, don't i? tavis: you look amazing. >> let's talk about my weight more. tavis: you feel good? >> i do. i feel good. i have four kids, actually, i have five kids. i have one who's -- in her 30's and i have 6 and 4 and two 1 1/2-year-old boys. tavis: hold up. >> i will repeat that. two 1 1/2-year-old twins. tired. tavis: can i just ask you, what were you think something >> i wasn't thinking. apparently, i wasn't thinking. i don't want to go into that.
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tavis: you were just doing. >> i say to my wife, don't look at me. tavis: since you went there, how does fatherhood -- how do you navigate that, when you were a father 30-plus years ago? >> i'm better now. i'm better. because you know more and you're more grateful. i wasn't a bad father but i'm -- i don't know, i feel like these kids are my mentors now. they're my best teachers. there's no one happier to see you in the morning. that's good. not even my dog. my dog can't see. a little old. tavis: what do your -- what do 1 1/2-year-olds teach you since they're your mentors? >> joy. i mean they're really happy. everything is like -- when is the last time you did that? >> yeah. tavis: obviously when i walked on. when i saw you had all of that weight loss. that's exactly what i did. >> right. tavis: i better hurry up and get to these films. you're the only person on the
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show in i don't know how long who i have to talk about three dub -- three -- >> unbelievable. not including the porno stuff that i'm doing. tavis: i'm trying to figure out when you made babies with three films -- >> no t. just happened, "meeting spencer" which is just coming out and i'm excited. this weekend "paul" and "win-win." when did that happen? i'm a very lucky guy. tavis: when you do projects like this, you don't expect they're all going to be out at the same time, do you? >> no. tavis: you had no idea about this? >> no, hi no idea. >> -- i had no idea. it's a jeffrey tambor festival for three days. tavis: let's take one at a time. start with "meeting spencer." >> it's a great film. the little engine that could. beautiful ensemble cast and i play this arrogant director. how can i possibly play someone like that you're asking. and it's -- it's a guy who's just down on his luck and he will do anything to get this play on and he in this movie
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does everything. and the other -- it's kind of like they have the same subject in a way, these are desperate times and people are asking desperate questions of themselves and acting desperately. and it's a comedy because when we get like that, it's pathetic but it's also ridiculous, right? tavis: yeah, yeah. >> these are hard times. tavis: to your part on a serious note, when have you difficult times, i find there's nothing like humor. you got to laugh through some of this stuff or you will find yourself crying. >> somebody was telling me a story this morning actually over coffee. and right in the middle of mid-pageous we started laughing, we were pounding the table. i'm sorry, i think it's a spiritual gift we have that we can laugh at this. tavis: yeah. have i not seen -- that's "meeting spencer." >> you haven't seen it? tavis: no, not "meeting spencer." i have not seen "win-win."
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i've been traveling. i'm anxious to see this. everybody who has seen it said it's amazing. >> yeah, these i great projects. i'm glad to be associated with them. and it's -- it's all i ever wanted do was be an actor. all -- since i grew up across the street from a theater and i love art of acting and all these films, these directors, greg batola, tom mccarthy and malcolm, who directed "meeting spencer," i'm honored to be in their company. tavis: talk about "win-win." >> i play a wrestling coach, guy named vick. paul giamatti plays a character who makes a bad move. as people in desperate times do. and it's heart-wrenching and i went to a screening this weekend and it was packed and they're crying.
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just like my bar mitzvah. we'll come back to that. tavis: first, tell me about "paul." >> "paul" i played an ass. tavis: you? >> arrogant. tavis: i can't imagine. >> how can i film that? who thinks a lot of himself. how can i play this? and he's pretty mean to these two guys. he's a science fiction writer that thinks a lot of himself. tavis: when you said all you wanted do was act, how did you know that? at what age -- >> i lived across the street from the theater, very much like the guy i play in "meeting spencer." i grew up and i went to the theater while the other guys were playing baseball and i watched this class at san francisco state college, which was right across the street from me and i sat in the dark almost my entire youth watching guys do scenes. what i would love is they would
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stop and take it apart and they would put it together again and it was different. it still makes me emotional. i just love that. to me it's more comfortable than life if that makes sense. tavis: i get that. >> it was very comforting. also actors are very nice people. they would say what do you think, kid? i also had a bilateral lisp. i talked like this. so i needed to do something. i needed to be in the dark and watch other people. tavis: seriously? >> yes. my yearbook people said nice meeting you, cliff, because that's how i said kev. oh, cliff. tavis: how did you do that? >> i went to a speech therapist in san francisco by the name of joe mitzac and he cured me right there because i couldn't hear it. for all of those parents out there whose kids have braces, people careful. you start to overanunsate so i talked like this, like gus gus
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in "cinderella." it was so painful, i think i became an actor to overcome that. it was so awful. i remember in san francisco state college and i later went there, i was doing a production of -- i can't believe i'm telling this story, antonini and cleopatra. my character was named dare sadist. the first rehearsal there was an actor, guy named george ebbey -- hi, george. i came out of the first rehearsal and who art thou? they are sadists i'm called. and i remember i said whatever it takes, whatever it takes, i will take george ebbey down. >> now n. a moment like that there were two reactions that come to mind immediately. one is you were so humiliated and embarrassed, you run and hide somewhere. and the other is you summage the courage to say i am not going to
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let this defeat me and i will work my way through it. >> that was nice. i kind of did both. in this i feel very relaxed and yet if you and i were going have coffee and you hadn't asked me to go for coffee yet, i would probably be more shy. tavis: that's why i would rather ask you. get coffee here so we can tell more stories like these. >> can we get some coffee? we need spencer. tavis: yeah. were you always funny? >> no. i remember the decision i made to be funny. i'm not kidding. i swear to you -- tavis: you made a decision to be funny? >> i swear to you. i swear to you -- tavis: like you made a decision to be black. i made a decision to be black. you did not make a decision to be funny. >> nothing else was working. i was just scared all the time. and i remember when i was in
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school, i got up in front, you had to tell news or show and tell and i just started one-lining it. people i was in love with, me and susan, who sat in the first row, and she would laugh and i would try to make her laugh and take it from there. and i said be funny. tavis: and that decision, that's paid off obviously. >> that's funny because people ask me wife, oh, you must laugh all the time at home. no laughs. [laughter] just have sex apparently. and make 1-year-old twins. tavis: i don't know how i missed this the first time. maybe the conversation was different but i'm noticing in this conversation since you have been here a couple of time that's your recall was excellent. you must learn lies easily. i say your recall is excellent because every story you told from way back as kids, you remember the name of every character in your stories, every
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real-life person. your recall is pretty good. >> yes, it's interesting. i do remember that except i have no idea where my car is parked right now but i do remember that. i really have a selective memory. i do remember that but -- and books. do you know that i -- i'm a co-owner of a book store? tavis: co-owner here in l.a.? >> skylight book store. anybody go. tavis: have i been there many times. >> i have never said it on television anymore. you're my first. tavis: wow. i've give enyou some money over the years. >> have you? tavis: indeed i have. guy there. chris goes there. >> mention my name. they'll charge you more. tavis: in that case, i do not know this guy. burn this tape. let's repeat, shall we, since mr. tambor is so busy, movie number one -- >> "meeting spencer." tavis: movie number two -- >> "meeting spencer." tavis: movie number three? >> "win-win" tavis: "meeting spencer" is
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important. >> and paul." friday night, "win win." saturday afternoon go to "paul." and sunday night do whatever you want. tavis: jeffrey tambor festival. >> "meeting spencer." tavis: at any theater near you. >> you really go to skylight book store? tavis: yes. i'm an avid reader. >> mention my nanny. they'll charge you more. tavis: jeffrey, good to have you here sblfment you're the best. tavis: and good luck with the babies. >> wouldn't it be funny if it was a line and i didn't have any children. tavis: then you would be fat again. babies got you thin so be happy. that's our show for tonight. thanks for tuning in. until next time, keep the faith. >> i got to talk to you a second. >> going on 50 minutes to get these promos in. is that ok with you? >> that's ok. >> i think you should be doing a stairclimbing machine. i consider been thinking about
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it. i think you should call it the larry stepper. no, the larry-sizer. >> listen, francine -- >> in, five, four, three, two -- >> in last year is strong suit, want to get in on this deal, "the larry sanders show" is here on lucky channel 7. >> hit me. >> we're clear. >> she hurt herself. >> for more information on today's show, visit "tavis smiley" at >> hi, i'm tavis smaley. join me next time professional surfer bethany hamilton and the new film that based on the shark attack that nearly ended her life. that's next time. see you then. >> all i know is this man is james and he needs extra help with his reading. >> i'm james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports
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"tavis smiley." with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove ob that cals to economic empowerment one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. d
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andy mcconnell: so are you saying that this vase actually belonged to field marshal montgomery? his parents-- his father was a minister in moville and they lived in the house. and the vase was in the house when my son-in-law's father bought it. so your son-in-law's father buys the house and this is part of the contents of the house. yes, that's part of the contents. it sat at the top of the stairs-- at the top of a spiral staircase in a hallway on a table. was it a grand house, would you describe it? it was a fairly grand house... in its own grounds. now that would make sense from a date point of view,
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'cause this glass vase dates to around about 1900, maybe about 1905. so bearing in mind the age of the field marshal, - this is all making sense. - yeah. the great thing about a vase like this is that it looks different in different light. so with natural light bouncing off it, it comes alive. it's quite magical. it starts its life, as i said, at the turn of the century. it's actually austrian, because this particular piece is almost certainly made by the lurz factory. and lurz were there making iridescent glass throughout the end of the 19th century into the 20th century. people always used to say it's poor man's tiffany, which is very unkind, because lurz were making iridescent glass before louis comfort tiffany really took it to its high point in america in the 1900s. anyway let's have a look at the piece itself, because what makes it special is it's in a nice frame. and the frame itself is german pewter,
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austrian pewter. and it's very organic, because this is very much an art nouveau shape. it's very much art nouveau in period. the glass itself is actually a very deep cobalt blue. the technique here is referred to as papillon glass, or butterfly glass. in other words, it has the effect almost of an iridescent butterfly wing. anyway, people collect them. lots of people love iridescent glass. and lurz and tiffany, the top of the tree. well, i don't know what your son's father-in-law paid for the house, but you can tell him that the vase that was left behind is worth a princely sum of around about £800. he'll be pleased to hear that. - yeah. - he will indeed.


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